Not a good start for Sharks at CITES

Today there was a chance for shark conservation to be boosted but China, Japan and Russia helped to defeat a proposal at CITES. A non binding measure called for increased transparency in the shark trade, including more research into the threat posed to sharks by illegal fishing.

Supporters included South Africa, the EU, and the USA, but the vote results were 52 in favour, 36 against and 11 abstentions, thus missing the two-thirds required to be accepted, and so the document was rejected. Those against expressed concern that the non binding measure would hurt poor nations and should be handled by the Regional Fishery Management Organisations (RFMOs), that countries should take responsibility individually and implement their National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, as proposed by FAO, and thus not become issues of CITES.

This is not a good start to the bigger issues proposed and which will come up later this week, namely the eight species of sharks proposed for Appendix II, the porbeagle, scalloped, smooth and great hammerheads, sandbar, dusky, oceanic whitetip and spiny dogfish.

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